The engine in question would be the pop culture of the early '80s and how performances such as this, basically an extended duet for percussion and electronics, were perceived as inspirational and cutting edge. The moody trance this piece immediately evokes and clings to like a life raft was, to the newly exposed, something of a real alternative to drowning in a wave of groovy rock bands with packaged presentations and looks. Removed from any such sociological discussion and placed in comparison with the entire history of electronic music, percussion music, avant-garde improvisation, or any other related field of activity, this EP retains a surprising charm. An obvious hurdle to leap would be the "duh" factor -- the title track is as much about banging on gongs as destroying angels, although these are actions that could be connected.
Anyone who has ever spent time making noise on a gong will have done everything on this record.
The contrasts arising instantly from the instrument's built-in dynamic range are the main motivating factor in how the music develops, rather than any creative invention of the performers. The performance requirements of bringing these dynamics into play on a gong also require very little skill of any kind, meaning that most of the praise that can be directed at this recording has to do with the concentration displayed, both intense and impressive. The B-side of the recording is blank, creating an instant and quick composition entitled "Absolute Elsewhere" that might just be the more successful conception of the two. At least the person who said "I don't have time to listen to this stuff anymore" about the first side wouldn't be able to make the same comment!
Kidz Bop Sings Monster Ballads puts its big hitters up front, opening with a version of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” that features Bret Michaels on guitar and his daughters Raine and Jorja on vocals. From there, the collection tears through two decades’ worth of power ballads sung by the Kidz Bop Kids. As usual, some of the subject matter seems a little mature for kids to be singing, much less hearing, but these takes on songs like “High Enough,” “Is This Love,” and “Heaven” just might be common musical ground for kids and their parents, who grew up with these songs when they were kids themselves.
If one were to liken the Elysian Fields to any other black metal group, Emperor would probably be the best comparison -- both groups alternate haunting, melodic passages with fierce blasts of noise, although Elysian Fields takes Emperor's orchestrated arrangements a step further, replacing keyboards with acoustic instruments like violin and piano. Also much like Emperor, the Elysian Fields pine for a lost pagan past, when their nation's culture (in this case Greece) reached the apex of its power and influence. But ultimately, the Elysian Fields have their own distinct voice, a welcome rarity in the black metal world.